MOMENTUM BUILDER: The SCU Marlins and Port Pirates will be looking to nothch their first wins of the season when the pair meet at University Oval this afternoon.
MOMENTUM BUILDER: The SCU Marlins and Port Pirates will be looking to nothch their first wins of the season when the pair meet at University Oval this afternoon. Brad Greenshields

It's only early but Marlins face a must win clash

BOTH the SCU Marlins and Port Pirates meet in an encounter that has suddenly become very important despite it being so early in the season.

Both sides were narrowly beaten last week and both are looking to record their first win for 2018.

The Marlins were beaten by a last minute try from Grafton but assistant coach Greg Wilson, who has the reins for one more week while coach Dwayne Vignes is overseas, said it's a result the reigning premier hasn't dwelled on.

"The boys were kicking themselves but they quickly put it in the past and tried to move on and get ready for the next match,” Wilson said.

There is one aspect of last week's loss that gives Wilson confidence the Marlins are unlikely to suffer any premiership hangovers this year.

"Our defence in the first 10 or 15 minutes against Grafton was amazing, the way the players defended their line” he said.

"It's really encouraging for the rest of the season.

"It was one of the best defensive efforts I've seen.”

The Marlins will still be missing a group of genuine first graders but they are all due to return shortly.

Due to the class the Coffs Snappers' outside backs possess, the forward pack doesn't get the plaudits it deserves.

This afternoon at Oxley Oval against perennial competition powerhouse Hastings Valley, the forwards have an opportunity to stamp their authority on the Vikings.

The Hastings Valley pack is missing four players including the kingpin David Tunstead.

Even with that quartet in the scrum, the Snappers are confident their pack including James Bellamy, Matthew Schulz, captain Cameron Sweeney, Kris Kent and Joe de Dassel can lay a solid platform for the backs against any opposition.

MNC RUGBY

SCU Marlins v Port Pirates

Hastings Valley v Coffs Snappers

Grafton v Kempsey



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